Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Emily Droste-Bielak

Second Advisor

William C. Bell

Third Advisor

Katherine Kim


The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effectiveness of a pressure relief mattress in reducing the number of pressure ulcers in high risk patients. The research design was experimental with random assignment of subjects who were identified as at risk for developing pressure ulcers into an experimental and control group. Every new admission entering two nursing homes in a Midwestern metropolitan area who met inclusion criteria was assessed using the Braden Scale for his/her risk for developing pressure ulcers. Twelve subjects determined at risk were assessed for skin breakdown for a period of two months, first weekly and then bi-weekly. The experimental group received the three-layered air cushion mattress. No subject developed a pressure ulcer. The results indicate that pressure ulcers can be prevented. Consciousness raising and promoting motivation of the staff involved in this serious problem may be factors that require future research.


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